Posted Aug 25th, 2015 (3:29 pm) by Katie Antonsson

Despite shooting himself in the foot in previous years, Kanye West has finally been accepted by the VMAs.

The Vanguard Award is essentially a Lifetime Achievement Award, celebrating an artist's body of work and significant music video works, and has been bestowed upon such legends as David Bowie, Madonna, The Rolling Stones, Beastie Boys, Justin Timberlake, and Beyoncé.

This is one achievement of Kanye's that's kind of hard to even argue over. Given that we're still talking about All Falls Down, Kanye clearly has always had a strong vision for his work. And that's just the thing: as powerful as his music is, Kanye is enough of a visionary to understand how the music should look in addition to how it should sound. He creates a total experience rather than relying on one particular element to do the heavy lifting.

Kanye has been nominated for 31 Moonmen in his career, but he's only won two -- Best Male Video for Jesus Walks and Best Special Effects for Good Life. Considering that Kanye's had some of the most memorable music videos in recent memory, two wins sounds kind of paltry. Think of Bound 2; ridiculous as it is, it's a beautifully filmed video. The totally-banned-from-YouTube "Monster." The hilarious New Workout Plan video from The College Dropout.

Not to mention his 30-minute feature film Runaway that accompanied My Beautiful, Dark, Twisted Fantasy, the lesser-known Spike Jonze collaboration We Were Once a Fairytale to complement 808s and Heartbreak, and his recent film collaboration with Steve McQueen that debuted at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art earlier this summer.

The promo video for Kanye's Vanguard Award mashes up visuals from his career over a green screen, merely hinting at the greatness to come:

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Of course, Kanye's had a major impact on the VMAs just in his performances -- planned and unplanned. His debut in 2004 with Chaka Khan certainly made some waves, then his auto-tuned performance of Love Lockdown in 2008 that made heads turn, and the unforgettable stage-stealing from one unsuspecting T. Swift that probably polarized Kanye's fans more than any other point in his career.

It's about time Kanye got the official recognition he deserves. Though he had some contentious things to say about awards shows after the Grammys in February, this major win at the VMAs is his redemption. Despite the antics that have made him infamous, Kanye West is one of the hardest working rappers in the game, and his body of work is only proof of his incredible work ethic. For the past ten years, he's been delivering the avant garde like it comes naturally to him, and we're lucky enough to get to sit back and enjoy the ride.

The 2015 VMAs, hosted by Miley Cyrus, are set to air on Sunday August 30 at 9PM ET/PT.

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